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Thread: 38 year old Polaroid pull-apart film advice

  1. #1

    38 year old Polaroid pull-apart film advice

    I got a pack of 1982 Polaroid Polacolor ER 669 Land film in a house clearance last year, and just finally got my hands on a PA-145 back so I could give it a try in my Speed Graphic.

    I didn't expect it to work, but my first attempt was encouraging because at least the developer remained viscous. For my second attempt, I overexposed considerably and it sort-of worked.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Can anyone offer any advice on getting better results? I assume I'm not pulling it through the rollers very well. Is there anything else I can or should do? I only have 14 frames left.

    Honestly, I'm glad it's worked as well as it has. But I'd love to be able to get some interesting photos with the remaining shots. Once they're gone, they're gone.

  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: 38 year old Polaroid pull-apart film advice

    Looks good. Better than a lot of stuff I see on the internet. Of course, you are trying for that effect of washed-out imperfection, yes? Otherwise you would be using fresh film right?

  3. #3

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    Re: 38 year old Polaroid pull-apart film advice

    I get the best results from closing my eyes and remembering the past. Ha ha. I think you may have got as good as it might get!

  4. #4

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    Re: 38 year old Polaroid pull-apart film advice

    I still keep several unopened boxes, don't ask me why. Some still in the freezer. I loved that 4x5 Polas.
    From time to time I still try to get anything from them... nothing.

  5. #5

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    Re: 38 year old Polaroid pull-apart film advice

    Quote Originally Posted by BertieWooster View Post
    I got a pack of 1982 Polaroid Polacolor ER 669 Land film in a house clearance last year, and just finally got my hands on a PA-145 back so I could give it a try in my Speed Graphic.

    I didn't expect it to work, but my first attempt was encouraging because at least the developer remained viscous. For my second attempt, I overexposed considerably and it sort-of worked.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_20200321_183646.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	46.7 KB 
ID:	201881

    Can anyone offer any advice on getting better results? I assume I'm not pulling it through the rollers very well. Is there anything else I can or should do? I only have 14 frames left.

    Honestly, I'm glad it's worked as well as it has. But I'd love to be able to get some interesting photos with the remaining shots. Once they're gone, they're gone.

    This is what you can expect ... those pods dry out and there's insufficient goop to spread.

    For the rest, make sure the rollers are clean and free from debris.

    Cheers,

  6. #6

    Re: 38 year old Polaroid pull-apart film advice

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Looks good. Better than a lot of stuff I see on the internet. Of course, you are trying for that effect of washed-out imperfection, yes? Otherwise you would be using fresh film right?
    Yes, I have plenty of proper film - but no way to process it currently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amedeus View Post
    This is what you can expect ... those pods dry out and there's insufficient goop to spread.

    For the rest, make sure the rollers are clean and free from debris.
    Thanks - although it does seem there's LOTS of goop in there. The negative side was fairly covered in it, but not quite evenly enough. I can't help but feel that better technique would help. I'll clean the rollers for the next pack though.

  7. #7
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    Re: 38 year old Polaroid pull-apart film advice

    The previous commenters provided good insights. Using your first image as a reference, shoot the remaining film, title the series as "Memories," and frame and exhibit the series. It will be seen as Art--and it will be if you choose the images that speak to you. This is your opportunity to make lemonade.

    keith

  8. #8

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    Re: 38 year old Polaroid pull-apart film advice

    Actually there are a few things you can try out.

    First make sure the rollers are clean. You can remove the pack in daylight and it will ruin only one shot. Of course it is best if you do it in the dark and not lose any shots.

    Another trick is to rub the film after pulling it through the rollers. It was common practice to rub Polaroids while “processing” to warm up the chemicals on cold days. It also helps spread out the goop evenly.

    Finally, give it a lot longer time before pulling it apart. Letting it “cook” for several minutes might help. It is better than under processing it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9

    Re: 38 year old Polaroid pull-apart film advice

    Quote Originally Posted by dfort View Post
    Actually there are a few things you can try out.

    First make sure the rollers are clean. You can remove the pack in daylight and it will ruin only one shot. Of course it is best if you do it in the dark and not lose any shots.

    Another trick is to rub the film after pulling it through the rollers. It was common practice to rub Polaroids while “processing” to warm up the chemicals on cold days. It also helps spread out the goop evenly.

    Finally, give it a lot longer time before pulling it apart. Letting it “cook” for several minutes might help. It is better than under processing it.
    Thank you - this actually worked!

    I had to get through my entire pack in order to perfect the technique, so I only have eight shots left now, but this is what I can get:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I shot this with a much longer exposure than normal (using bulb to get around half a second), removed it very carefully from the back (it wants to separate naturally, ruining the shot entirely, so you have to hold the two sides together), and then placed it down on a book. I held it together at the side, and smoothed it over rapidly with my fingers for about 30 seconds. I separated after about two minutes. It seemed to continue to develop for at least an hour after I'd removed it, with contrast increasing over that time.

    This is pretty much exactly what I was hoping for. I might have hoped for a little bit more colour (there is some colour information, but it's mostly lost in a haze of yellow/green), but I think these are great results for 38 year old pull-apart Polaroids.

    Now to decide what to shoot with my remaining pack. It seems important, given that I stand little chance of ever obtaining another pack of this vintage which still works.

  10. #10

    Re: 38 year old Polaroid pull-apart film advice

    Postscript: Loaded the second pack and tried to take a photo of my dog in the garden. Pulled the white tab, but nothing came out and it broke off. Attempted to remove the frame in my dark bag, tried again, and two tabs came out at once (I was only holding one). Long story short, they're all lost. So that picture of the street was my last first and last successful photo with Polaroid 669. Some of the tabs were stuck together badly, perhaps due to minor chemical leakage. Quite upset about it, but that's the way it goes when you mess with 40 year old film I suppose.

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